Leasehold Conveyancing in Chelsea - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Chelsea, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Sample questions relating to Chelsea leasehold conveyancing

I own a leasehold flat in Chelsea. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Chelsea who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Chelsea conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am looking at a two flats in Chelsea both have about forty five years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Chelsea. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Chelsea where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Chelsea conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Chelsea conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Chelsea conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Chelsea conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Chelsea with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Chelsea can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Chelsea levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chelsea.
  • Some Chelsea leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Following years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Chelsea. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Chelsea residence is 150A Albert Palace Mansions Lurline Gardens in July 2013. The Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the new lease of the subject property was £42,069 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 57.06 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chelsea